Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Let’s talk de-commitments
The first rule of following recruiting: Not every commitment is equal.
No matter how, or when, a player makes a college decision, there are things that have the power to change his mind. Friends, family, coaches, coaching changes, etc. There’s always something that can come along.
On Wednesday, one of those factors — an unexpected coaching change — cost Ohio State its last remaining 2018 basketball verbal commit, Dane Goodwin.
Goodwin had been committed to Ohio State since December 2014, but after the termination of Thad Matta and the uncertainty about his place in new coach Chris Holtmann’s program, he’s opted to explore the rest of the college basketball landscape.
While the initial report from Zach Fleer of 270 Hoops would indicate that Ohio State will remain on Goodwin’s short list — and that’s reasonable — players rarely re-commit to a school from which they’ve de-committed. You should not expect the Upper Arlington 4-star shooting guard to join the Buckeyes.
With the departure of Goodwin, Ohio State has zero 2018 basketball commits just three months after having verbals from three of the state’s top prospects — Goodwin, Darius Bazley and Justin Ahrens. None of them are likely to end up at Ohio State, but that’s OK. You hire a new coach for a reason, right? Ohio State needs to trust Holtmann’s vision because that 2018 recruiting class is likely going to make or break the first half his eight-year contract.
Updated look at Ohio State's scholarship situation. Five spots open in 2018 after Dane Goodwin's decommitment https://t.co/IN3fvcszAS
— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) June 21, 2017
Flipping from the hardwood to the gridiron, I think it’s important to underscore a larger point here: Every program has to deal with de-commitments. Few programs have been as good at mitigating those losses, and in some cases preventing them from even happening, as Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes. But de-commitments will affect them at some point in the 2018 cycle.
It could be safety Jaiden Woodbey, whose name continues to pop up with Oklahoma and Southern California. It could be safety Josh Proctor, who also is a priority for the new coach at Oklahoma. It could be someone completely random for an entirely unknown reason.
It just happens, and it’s totally OK.
What about the wideouts?
Ohio State has offered 20 wide receivers in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports. Right now, there is just one senior wide receiver on the Buckeyes roster.
See a potential problem there?
There are several players on the radar, guys such as Cameron Brown, Al’Vonte Woodard and Brennan Eagles who are not options because of the numbers crunch. The names to know are ones we’ve discussed here, with Kamryn Babb and L’Christian Smith leading the way. As the roster shakes out this fall, others could be revisited.
Florida LB Mikel Jones happy to learn at Ohio State
A defensive end-turned-linebacker from talent-rich South Florida was in Columbus over the weekend taking in a camp experience with the Buckeyes.
Mikel Jones, the country’s eighth-ranked outside linebacker prospect in the Class of 2019, made the trip from Hialeah, Fla., where he attends the Mater Academy charter school. A recent position change from line to linebacker means he’s trying to take in as much as he can from the coaches he sees.
“[Ohio State] had been trying to get me up to camp for a while,” Jones told Land of 10. “My coach has been in contact with them since I’m not able to speak with coaches until September.”
Although he wasn’t able to spend a lot of time on campus, Jones made the most of his visit.
“My coach wouldn’t have minded staying there [to tour the campus],” he said. “But there were a lot of other recruits there, so I didn’t get to talk to [Buckeyes linebackers] coach [Bill] Davis that much after the camp. I got to work with him the whole camp, and I picked up a lot from him. The biggest thing I learned was how to cover the running back coming out of the backfield. I won all my reps in covering 1 on 1.
“Hopefully the next time I go to Columbus I can get a tour around the campus.”
Jones has offers from Clemson, Louisville, Georgia and others, but not the Buckeyes.